Granted Fedor lost in Judo and Sport Sambo before numerous times, all greats lost in their sports (how else would they learn to be great?) But he never lost in Combat Sambo (with strikes), and for the last seven years Fedor outpointed or finished all his opponents, except last night (the same night Randy Couture lost to Brock Lesnar in UFC...)
Fedor was outpointed 8-5 by another World Combat Sambo Champion, world class fighter/wrestler with 14-0 MMA record Blagoi Ivanov, Bulgaria's best fighter.
Fedor defeated Ivanov several months ago in the finals of President's cup in St. Petersburg Russia. These tournaments are long GPs where one would have to win several times in one day to win the tournament.
In Combat Sambo (aka Military Commando Sambo, where Fedor is a four-time World Champion and Champion of Armed Forces) headbutts, groin attacks and other nasty moves are all 100% legal! Here is the first meeting of that sport's top ranked fighters:
Last night, however, Ivanov executed a throw, and Fedor's KD (knockdown) and lesser throw of his own was not enough to make up the deficit. Here it is:
Fedor stated: "I don't want to make any excuse or argue the judging. Ivanov won fair and square." Head coach of the Russian Combat Sambo Team Aleksander Konakov stated: "Fedor is only human, he lost due to not having time to prepare properly with all the interviews and movies. He has no plans to leave Sambo and will make proper adjustments in the future. As far as losing goes, everyone loses, it's the nature of the sport".
Prior to the tourney Fedor was in Thailand shooting a movie with Michael Madsen, and missed the training camp. Fedor uses Combat Sambo competitions to practice and stay sharp for MMA on regular basis.
Hopefully Ivanov will transition to full-time MMA soon. He is an amazing talent. After outpointing Fedor last night he effortlessly won the Gold medal match (as he always does with the exception of the one time he ran into Fedor in the finals, see above), while Fedor settled for Bronze this time.
Ivanov joins an elite group of great Martial Artists who hold a victory over Fedor in one combat art or another. One example is Aleksander Mikhailin, a three-time World Judo Champion, Aleksander defeated his training partner and friend Fedor in a close Judo match 8 years ago, and shortly after went on to win three Judo World titles.
Recently Mikhailin stated: "Fedor has no equals," but it looks like Ivanov was one yesterday. They will fight again soon, no doubt. The next President's cup is only a short time away, and Ivanov will most likely walk thru his competition to the finals, as will Fedor.
This is a "wonderful" opportunity for Dana White and some die-hard UFC fanatics to discredit Fedor. But unfortunately for them, not only does a throw mean everything in Sambo and Judo and nothing in MMA, and Sambo matches are very short (Fedor simply ran out of time), but Ivanov is also a nice guy with whom this poster has spoken, Ivanov will never trash-talk, and he respects Fedor.
Don't expect BS and hype from him. He is the most modest human being I ever spoke to. He personally wrote me a warm letter thanking me for kind comments on his fight video in his close defeat to Fedor in the past. Rumors are already starting that Dana White wants him in UFC ASAP. I wonder why...